Brownwater News, July 2019

AAPA pushes Congress to ‘fix the HMT for good’

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), supported by 100 U.S. ports and other groups, has urged Congress to find a solution to problems with the Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT).

In a joint letter to House and Senate leadership, lawmakers were urged to pass legislation to “fix the HMT for good.” The letter highlighted a proposed solution offered by AAPA that would provide “both full use of annual HMT revenues, as well as address tax fairness issues.”

The AAPA’s solution calls for full spending of prior-year Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund revenues, according to a plan that ports agreed would be fair and equitable. The letter stated that AAPA’s proposed solution “makes maintenance the highest priority, provides protections to address small port and regional port needs, provides increasing equity to large HMT donors, and acknowledges Congress’ priority to provide support to energy transfer ports.”

Susan Monteverde, the AAPA’s vice president for government relations, said America’s ports need legislation that will “fix the HMT for good. Adopting a comprehensive HMT proposal into upcoming federal legislation would be good for our nation, good for our nation’s ports, and is a top infrastructure priority for AAPA.”

House approves $1.1 billion for MarAd for FY 2020

At the end of June, the House approved its second spending package for fiscal year 2020. The $383 billion measure (H.R. 3055) included $1.1 billion for the Maritime Administration (MarAd), a $63 million decrease from the 2019 appropriation.

The total for MarAd included $300 million for the Maritime Security Program, and $225 million the Port Infrastructure Development Program.

Also in the bill was $86.6 billion for the Department of Transportation, with $1 billion for BUILD (Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development) grants.

AAPA annual meeting set for October

The American Association of Port Authorities has scheduled its 108th annual convention and expo for Oct. 13-16 at the Hilton Hotel in Norfolk, Va.

The three-day business program will feature industry leaders focusing on economic development, cargo transportation efficiency, trade policy, emergency response and cybersecurity.

The meeting’s speakers will include Ludovic Renou, president of CMA CGM America, who has more than 20 years of experience in shipping, global logistics and executive management, along with international leadership roles during assignments in China, Indonesia, Vietnam and India.

For more information, contact Aaron Ellis at (703) 684-5700.

GICA, NWC, WCI schedule annual sessions

The 114th annual Gulf Intracoastal Canal Association (GICA) seminar is scheduled for Aug. 7-9 at the InterContinental hotel in New Orleans. For detailed information on the golf outing and other scheduled events, contact David Abney of American Commercial Barge Line at (504) 736-1284.

The National Waterways Conference (NWC) has scheduled its 2019 annual meeting for Sept. 17-19 at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tenn. Speakers will include R.D. James, assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works; Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, commanding general of the Army Corps of Engineers; Maj. Gen. Mark Toy, incoming commander of the Corps’ Mississippi Valley Division; James Dalton, director of Civil Works; and Edward Belk, chief of the Corps’ Programs Integration Division. For more information, contact Carole Wright at (703) 224-8007.

The 16th annual Waterways Symposium, held by the Waterways Council Inc. (WCI) in conjunction with its annual meeting, is scheduled for Nov. 6-8 at the Fairmont Hotel in Pittsburgh, Pa. The theme of the symposium on Nov. 7 will be “Structuring a Plan for Waterways’ Infrastructure Investment.” The keynote speaker will be Peter Zeihan, author of The Accidental Superpower. For more information, contact Medina Moran at (202) 765-2115 or

WCI produces new educational videos

To further educate audiences about the inland waterways’ connection to agriculture, the labor community, freight shippers, the Corps of Engineers and to building U.S. communities, the Waterways Council Inc. (WCI) has produced a series of short videos.

You can view the videos at the following links:

For more information, contact Deb Calhoun, WCI senior vice president, at (202) 765-2153.

By Professional Mariner Staff